Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Lakewood
Dental Implants & Tooth Replacement
We are proud to offer Straumann implants. Many practitioners, to save costs, have chosen cheaper implants with unproven designs and untested components. We have never chosen this unreliable path, and have always used what we feel is the best implant on the market today. Straumann implants have the best research data in the industry and a proven track record in the dental implant field.
Dr. Todd has extensive experience in placing dental implants. He has placed over 5,500 implants in his career and continues to update his skill and knowledge with regular reading and continuing education. Many dental practitioners are beginning to place dental implants but simply don’t have the education and experience compared to a specialist like Dr. Todd.
When a tooth is lost, both the root and the crown need to be replaced. Essentially, a dental implant is a new artificial root. This titanium “root” is fitted into a socket created in the jaw, replacing the lost root of the natural tooth. Dental implants come in various shapes and sizes and have different types of surfaces. The actual implant selection will depend on a variety of factors. Depending on bone quality, the implant will require six to twelve weeks of healing. When this initial phase of healing is completed, a new crown or replacement tooth is placed on top.
- Single tooth replacement
- Implant-supported bridge
- An implant-supported removable partial denture
- Implant-supported overdenture
- Fixed hybrid bridges (“all on four”)
Implant Treatment Timeline
- Treatment plan
- Healing 2-6 months
- Impressions are taken
- Final restoration
- Continuing care
Implants have been found to be a very successful anchor in the jawbone for patients to use to stabilize dentures or replace missing teeth with implant-supported crowns or bridges.
Implants have several advantages over traditional dental approaches for missing teeth. Unlike crowns or bridges on natural teeth that suffer from decay, an implant-supported crown or bridge can never decay. In addition, an implant is independent of the other teeth and does not require the loss of tooth structure required by the preparation of natural teeth.
The Benefits of Implants
- For patients who have no teeth, implants might provide the greatest benefit. Implants provide stability for lower dentures that typically function poorly, are difficult to wear, and provide low self-confidence.
- Another advantage of implants is the preservation of jawbone. When a tooth is lost, the bone that once supported the teeth slowly resorbs away. The problem is made worse by wearing dentures which causes further bone loss.
- The process of placing implants into the jaw involves a simple surgical procedure. These procedures are generally carried out in the office under local anesthetic (Novocaine). There are special circumstances where IV sedation might be required, and this will be discussed with you if appropriate.
- The procedure involves creating a form-fit hole in the jawbone into which the implant is placed. It takes 2–4 months for this implant to be integrated (bone healing to the implant).
- The implant must remain undisturbed over this time period. If bone grafting is required, the implants may have to be placed secondarily after incorporation (healing) of the graft. Bone grafting may require as long as 6 months for incorporation.
More About Dental Implants
You can wear an existing or temporary prosthesis while bone healing is occurring. Once the implant is integrated, some secondary surgical procedures may be required to position the gum tissue around the implant.
Unfortunately, dental implants cannot be placed in all patients. Most importantly, patients must have a clean mouth that is free of gum disease or rampant tooth decay.
Patients must have a sound medical history that allows for good wound healing and is not prone to infection, bleeding, or serious systemic disease.
We feel that this information is important for our implant patients to understand.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to discuss them with your dentist or surgeon so that you are comfortable and well informed in making your decision to progress with dental implants.